When we were shopping for Homeowners insurance, Cotton States offered the best price by almost $200 annually. The staff always shows "Southern hospitality", especially patience! Late last year they were trying to contact me about doing an assessment of the house since realestate values have risen so much and they wanted to be sure we had enough coverage. Well, it took me weeks to return the first call, then weeks to send the extra premium (which was quite small), and the agent was always polite and didn't hound me (which I deserved).
It doesn't look like much from the outside, somewhat like an old house that is dwarfed by the other establishments on US 1, but when you go in the place is huge. There is a large warehouse-like space filled with used, vintage, and antique furniture, and smaller rooms stuffed with various vintage items. It takes a while to go through it all, so be prepared. I wish we had found Pineapple Patti's when we first moved to Fort Pierce, because they have a lot of used furniture at reasonable prices.
Every time we visit Blue Ridge, the first downtown merchant we visit is the Antique Mall. They have a good mix of antique/vintage items, as well as interesting, inexpensive gifts. Over the years we have purchased many furrniture items here (pair of stools, table and chairs, end tables) and have found everything reasonable priced. They also have a constant stock of Thomas Kincade pieces.
Theater Time really has all of the movies and games you could want, at very reasonable prices. I can always get caught up in the summer with watching the videos that I miss all year, and the video game rates are so low that sometimes we will keep a game for a week or two to avoid buying it, or to preview a game that we might want to buy. The staff is friendly and efficient.
You wouldn't think you were likely to see current movies in a theater in Blue Ridge, but you will be pleasantly surprised. They're small so they don't have matinees during the week like larger towns do, but the movies playing change often and almost always have the latest releases. Ticket prices are good, too, lower than what you would pay in a multiplex theater.
Although we visit Blue Ridge at least once a year and like to give our business to Blue Ridge small businesses, I will not use Anns Major Mirror again. When we evacuated to Blue Ridge during Hurricane Francis, I decided that getting a hair cut would take my mind off what was happening to our home. The stylist did not take much time to insure a high quality haircut. She missed a large amount of my bangs so until my next haircut I dealt with the long pieces coming out and trying to get them to stay off to the side. Also, she did not section off my hair when cutting it, like stylists always do, but just cut everything at once the way I would do if I needed a quick touch up and did it myself. The haircut made me feel worse, not better.
Our dog is long haired and unfortunately we always wait too long for his haircut so his fur is oftentimes matted into at least a few clumps. When this happens I'm embarassed to take him to be groomed, but the groomers at Rebels were not only very kind and non-judgemental, but 'Bear' looked so good that I couldn't believe it was the same dog! The price was also less than what I usually pay.
My daughter developed an eye problem on the day we left for our vacation in Blue Ridge, 600 miles from home, so we needed a doctor and I was concerned to try someone new. Well, I knew right away that the physician we saw, wearing cowboy boots and speaking with a strong Southern drawl was no "country bumpkin". Although we really needed an opthamologist, the doctor at Mountain Medical and his staff not only handed the referral super-efficiently, but the diagnosis the doctor suspected was in fact what was wrong. I would feel extremely comfortable going to Mountain Medical the next time I need a physician in Blue Ridge.
You wouldn't expect to find a place where you can get such high quality service in a little town like Blue Ridge. On an impulse, while visiting one summer I brought some postcards from Russia that I had wanted framed but just had not had time all year. Since friends had recommended High Country, I just asked the owner to use her own judgement about what would look good and I was extremely pleased with the result, from the mattes and arrangement to the frame itself. Now, I wait until we go up for the summer whenver I have photos and artwork that need to be framed.
If you're wondering which of the many cabin rental agencies to use for your visit to the Blue Ridge area, Avenair is absolutely top notch. Their cabin selection is quite diverse, and you can expect a cabin that is warmly decorated and exceptionally clean, for a reasonable price. The management and office staff are always pleasant, even when we evacuated to Blue Ridge during Hurricane Francis and the entire region was totally booked. If you're coming to Blue Ridge from the South, the office is very convenient for picking up your cabin key and getting directions. And last but not least, Avenair's website is very informative, especially the 360-degree photos which are available for most of the cabins. We stay at Angel's Whisper, which is on a creek, accepts dogs, and has a great downstairs for children to play.